“A poetry of disaster relies on fragments,” writes Nicole Cooley.
The stars (aster) apart, asunder (dis-), cause things to break—thoughts and observations made of grammar—into pieces. The world in pieces.
The DNA asunder; the rituals of the day asunder. The poem a sequence of misalignments.
In a poetry of ellipsis, parataxis and fragmentation, we hold the fragments—no fitting them back like a jigsaw puzzle—just hold them, as we might glass shards or the bits of a bird’s egg crushed underfoot, in the palm, all in one place, that they might ghost a whole.
Though the parts, affixed to a page or screen, exist in a particular order. Even when one calls on chance or accident to determine that sequence, we look for and find, we need, pattern—cannot help ourselves—in the collection. We seem born to do so. Pattern, which is rhythm—60 seconds per minute, nine baseball innings, ¾ for the waltz—is how we respond to formlessness, how we give it meaning.